John D. Kelly


Contact Information

Office: Haskell 206
Phone: (773) 702-4333
Website: n/a

(PhD, U Chicago 1988; Christian W. Mackauer Professor in Anthropology and the College) Does research in Fiji and in India, on topics including ritual in history, knowledge and power, semiotic and military technologies, colonialism and capitalism, decolonization and diasporas. His most recent book, Represented Communities: Fiji and World Decolonization, co-written with Martha Kaplan, concerns the constituting of nation-states out of empires. He is currently working on two other books. Laws Like Bullets, also co-authored with Martha Kaplan, concerns colonial lawgiving. Technography: Sciences in the History of Cultures, raises questions for anthropology of knowledge with a focus on the grammarians of ancient India and the engineering of Sanskrit.

Selected Works

Selected Publications

Year Title / Publications PDF
2016 Ethnographic Notes on the Funeral Rituals for Lee Kuan Yew. Co-edited with Martha Kaplan. Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. 89(310): 81-153.
2016 A Practice of Anthropology: The Thought and Influence of Marshall Sahlins. Co-edited with Alex Golub and Daniel Rosenblatt. McGill-Queens University Press.
2015 Corporate Social Responsibility? Human Rights in the New Global Economy. Co-edited with Charlotte Walker-Said. University of Chicago Press.
2014 Introduction: The Ontological Turn in French Philosophical Anthropology. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory. 4(1): 259-69.
2013 Professional Team Sports and Urbanization of Desire. International Journal of the History of Sport. 30(11): 1271-1286.
2013 What Does China Want? Olympism and Dominance, Guangzhou and Missed Opportunity, Major Leagues and Isolation on the Pacific Rim. International Journal of the History of Sport. Special issue on the Guangzhou Asian Games. 30(10): 1087-1098.
2012 Seeking What? Subversion, Situation, and Transvaluation. FOCAAL, 64: 51-60
2010 One World, Real World, Memory and Dream: Shadows of the Past and Images of the Future in Contemporary Asian Sports Internationalisms. International Journal of the History of Sport, 27(14-15): 2608-2641.
2011 Reason and Magic in the Country of Baseball. International Journal of the History of Sport, 28(17): 2491-2505.
2011 Shanti and Mana: The Loss and Recovery of Culture Under Postcolonial Conditions in Fiji. In E. Hermann, ed., Changing Contexts, Shifting Meanings: Transformations of Cultural Traditions in Oceania. University of Hawaii Press, 235-249.
2010 Seeing Red: Mao Fetishism, Pax Americana and the Moral Economy of War. In J.D. Kelly, et al., eds., Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency. University of Chicago Press, 67-83.
2010 (ed. w/ B. Jauregui, S.T. Mitchell, J. Walton) Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency. University of Chicago Press.
2008 (w/ M. Kaplan) Legal Fictions After Empire. In D. Howland & L. White, eds., The State of Sovereignty: Territories, Laws, Populations. Indiana University Press, 169-195.
2007 Diaspora and Swaraj, Swaraj and Diaspora. In R. Majumdar, A. Sartori, & D. Chakrabarty, eds., From the Colonial to the Postcolonial: India and Pakistan in Transition. Oxford University Press, India, 311-332.
2007 Making the World Safe for Baseball: Reflections on Internationalism in Cooperstown and the World Baseball Classic. International Journal of the History of Sport. 24(2): 215-237.
2006 Baseball and Decolonization: The Caribbean, 1945-1975. In J. MacAloon, ed., “Muscular Christianity” issue of International Journal of the History of Sport. 23(5): 821-837.
2006 The American Game: Capitalism, Decolonization, World Domination and Baseball. Prickly Paradigm Press.
2006 Writing the State: China, India, and General Definitions. In S. Sanders, ed., Margins of Writing, Origins of Culture. Chicago: Oriental Institute Seminars No. 2, 15-32.
2006 Who Counts? Imperial and Corporate Structures of Governance, Decolonization and Limited Liability. In C. Calhoun, et al., eds., Lessons of Empire. New Press, 157-174.
2005 Integrating America: Jackie Robinson, Critical Events, and Baseball Black and White. International Journal of the History of Sport. 22(6): 1005-1029.
2005 Exclusionary America: Jackie Robinson, Decolonization, and Baseball Not Black and White. International Journal of the History of Sport. 22(6): 130-153.
2005 Boycotts and Coups, Shanti and Mana in Fiji. Ethnohistory.
2004 Gordon Was No Amateur: Imperial Legal Strategies in the Colonization of Fiji. In S. Merry & D. Brenneis, eds., Law and Empire in the Pacific: Fiji and Hawai’i. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press.
2003 (w/ M. Kaplan) My Ambition is Much Higher than Independence: US Power, the UN world, the Nation-State, and their Critics. In P. Duara, ed., Decolonization: Perspectives from Now and Then. Taylor & Francis, 131-51.
2003 U.S. Power, after 9/11 and before It: If Not an Empire, Then What? Public Culture. 15(2): 347-69.
2002 Alternative Modernities or an Alternative to “Modernity”: Getting Out of the Modernist Sublime. In B. Knauft, ed., Critically Modern: Alternatives, Alterities, Anthropologies. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 258-286.
2001 Postcoloniality. In International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Oxford, Pergamon, 11844-49.
2001 (w/ M. Kaplan) Nation and Decolonization: Toward a New Anthropology of Nationalism. Anthropological Theory. 1(4): 419-37.
2001 (w/ M. Kaplan) Represented Communities: Fiji and World Decolonization. U of Chicago Press.
2001 ‘They Cannot Represent Themselves’: Threats to Difference and So-called Community Politics in Fiji from 1936 to 1947. In C. Bates, ed., Community, Empire and Migration: South Asians in Diaspora. New York: Palgrave, 46-86.
2001 Fiji’s Fifth Veda: Exile, Sanatan Dharm, and Countercolonial Initiatives in Diaspora. In P. Richman, ed., Questioning Ramayanas. U of California Press, 329-51.
2000 Nature, Natives, Nations: Glorification and Asymmetries in Museum Representation, Fiji and Hawaii. Ethnos. 65(2):195-216.
1999 (co-authored with Martha Kaplan) On Discourse and Power: Cults and Orientals in Fiji. American Ethnologist. 26(4): 843-63.
1999 The Other Leviathans: Corporate Investment and the Construction of a Sugar Colony. In Pal Ahluwadia, Bill Ashcroft, and Roger Knight, eds., White and Deadly: Sugar and Colonialism. Commack NY, Nova Science Publishers, 95-134.
1998 Time and the Global: Against the Homogeneous, Empty Communities in Contemporary Social Theory. (co-authored with Martha Kaplan) On Discourse and Power: Cults and Orientals in Fiji. American Ethnologist. 26(4): 843-63.
1998 Aspiring to Minority and Other Tactics Against Violence in Fiji. In D. Gladney, ed., Making Majorities. Stanford University Press, 173-197.
1997 Gaze and Grasp: Plantations, Desires, and Colonial Law in Fiji. In M. Jolly & Lenore Maderson, eds., Sites of Desire/Economies of Pleasure: Sexualities in Asia and the Pacific. U Chicago Press, 72-98.
1996 What was Sanskrit For? Metadiscursive Strategies in Ancient India. In J.E.M. Houben, ed., Ideology and Status of Sanskrit: Contributions to the History of the Sanskrit Language. Leiden, E.J. Brill, 87-107.
1994 (co-authored with Martha Kaplan) Rethinking Resistance: Dialogics of Disaffection in Colonial Fiji. American Ethnologist 21:123-151.
1993 Meaning and the Limits of Analysis: Bhartrhari and the Buddhists, and Poststructuralism. Asiatische Studien/Etudes Asiatiques 47:171-94.
1991 A Politics of Virtue: Hinduism, Sexuality, and Countercolonial Discourse in Fiji. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
1990 (co-authored with Martha Kaplan) History, Structure, and Ritual. Annual Reviews of Anthropology 19:119-150.